Photographic Evidence

At the heart of the moon hoax conspiracy theory is the photographic evidence; specifically, alleged inconsistencies shown in film and photographs from the Apollo missions. The most commonly cited inconsistencies are:

  • Shadow anomalies, where shadows appear be cast in unexplained ways, or mysterious shadows appear from unknown objects. The theory suggests studio lighting and props as the source.
  • Anomalous backgrounds; for example, identical backgrounds from different locations, backgrounds not to scale, etc.
  • The "C Photo", in which the letter "C" appears to have been printed on objects in the scene. The theory alleges that these are prop markings.

Approximately 20,000 photos were taken during the Apollo mission with Hasselblad cameras. Conspiracy theorists have used so many of these photos as evidence that it would be impractical to explain each one individually. However we don't need to, because almost all the anomalies can be explained using elementary knowledge of how cameras work.

The Camera Never Lies?

This is not true. It's very important to understand that a camera lens distorts reality. This is an unavoidable property of all lenses and camera systems - they must take the light coming from a three-dimensional world and distort it onto a two-dimensional surface. Exactly how a scene will be distorted depends on various factors, but lens technology is an established science and these distortions are well understood.

Exposure is also an issue. Cameras deal with light differently than the human eye and a photo will often not show the same exposure that you might expect to see in person.

When perusing the allegedly unexplained photographic anomalies from the Apollo missions, we find that the vast majority are actually exactly what we would expect to see. Indeed, if we did not see these things, something would be amiss.

Whose Explanation Is Right?

There can be no doubt about the explanations for the photo anomalies - they can be easily proven beyond doubt. Any amateur photographer can replicate phenomena such as the converging shadows and any first-year film student could understand why there are no stars visible in the photos.

This begs the question: How could so many conspiracy theorists lack this understanding, especially those who make television documentaries or claim to have photographic expertise? If a television camera operator is competent enough to shoot an interview with someone talking about the missing stars, then they must be competent enough to know that it is a simple exposure issue. Given that lens and exposure techniques are fundamental skills for anyone who makes videos, it seems inconceivable that an entire professional television production company would not be able to find the answer.

Perhaps that is where the real conspiracy lies....

Next Page: Converging Shadows